Tuesday, January 6, 2009

It's been a while, hasn't it?

Erf. Long time is long. Okay so...

November 24th I saw a new neurologist. Timothy Vollmer, one of the leading neurologists in the field of MS. It was at an intimidatingly huge medical facility in Denver. Talking to the man was like reading a research paper, he had so many facts and figures. He was scary knowledgeable, and refreshingly take-charge. There was no "so what do you want to do? What do you feel comfortable with?" He told me what my best options were and started the process of getting me on a new medication. He was like a steamroller. But, it was so very encouraging.

I'm going to be getting on a medication called Tysabri, which blocks the immune system from accessing the brain at all. This means that, for a year, I shouldn't be having any MS symptoms at all. Why stop after a year, you say? Because there is a virus that lives in all of our bodies that will build up in the brain when it's sheltered from the immune system and han be fatal if not stopped; even if it's caught quickly it can cause permanent damage. However, there are 5 reported cases in 40,000 patients on Tysabri, and not one happened before the patient had been on Tysabri for a year.

I started a new job on December 10 ($4.35/hour more than I made at ListenUp!!!), and aside from the pay increase there's a lot of really awesome bennies. Excellent health insurance (+ vision & dental), 401k, life insurance, disability insurance, on and on. A positive and busy workplace and the days go quickly, even if I am tired at the end. However, I was (mis)led to believe that the insurance would be active the day I started, when actually, it's active the first day of the month following the beginning of employment. That left me insurance-free for 21 days, and we couldn't get the ball rolling on the Tysabri until then. And now that the ball is rolling, it's going to take up to 4 weeks to actually get my first dose.

In the meantime, my hands are still 90% numb. That's not likely to get any better until I'm on this new medication (if even then... there's always the thrilling chance that the damage may be permanent. However, that's not likely). Blech. I go through cycles of preemptively getting excited about having my hands back soonish and being depressed because I think that I've forgotten how to type, use screwdrivers or pliers, be a normal person with normal hands in any way. I've discovered that I cannot put on post earrings...though I wear earrings so rarely I wouldn't be surprised if I'd forgotten how to do that before now.

In other news, my best friend Carlie and my good friend Dan (one of B's groomsmen) have found love, happiness and bliss in each other's arms. They are both vomiting slimy pink fluff (contradiction in terms, I know... picture fluff made of gak) everywhere. Congrats to them, they deserve all the happiness in the world ^_^

And...that's all folks. =)